Delta Guber: Tribunal Turns Down Ogboru’s Ex-Party Motion

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…  Wants PDP, others Put on Notice

… To  Consider    Emerhor’s Application       

Delta State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal  chairman, Mr. Nasiru Gunmi has turned down an ex-party motion brought  by Labour Party (LP) governorship aspirant, Chief Great Ogboru,  seeking to inspect documents from Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) office.

Gunmi  ruled that Ogboru “should come by way of motion- on- notice to enable all the respondents (PDP, INEC)  in the matter be served and placed on notice, so that they can respond as  there is  nothing urgent in the request”.

Three petitions are before the three-man tribunal headed by Justice Nasiru Gunmi, challenging the declaration of Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa of the People's Democratic Party (PDP) as winner of the April 11 governorship election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The petitions were filed by Chief Great Ogboru of Labour Party, Olorogun O'tega Emerhor of the All Progressive Congress (APC) and Mr. Paul Isamade of Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN).

At the resumed hearing of the petition filed  Ogboru  through his counsel  Dele Adesina, who was represented by  Mr. Robert Emukpoeruo , filed an ex-party motion seeking the leave of the court to inspects the electoral materials.

Counsel to the respondents Dr. Alex Iziyon while objecting to the ex-party motion argued that “there is nothing so urgent in the matter that would warrant an ex-party motion, we want to be served and be present during the inspection so that we can know what is going on.”

“We have an interest in every detail, we want to be properly served, if we are served, we are ready to respond and it must be a joint inspection”.

Justice Gumi had earlier entertained arguments from Iziyon  and  Emerhors’ counsel, Mr. D.A.Okpoko (SAN) on the desirability or otherwise for extension of time to enable   the  pre- trial hearing in an application commence.  

Okpoko  in his argument urged  the court to grant  him  more time  to file information sheet of form ET 008 which will nable them support their petition and argument in the substantive suit, adding that the tribunal has the power to grant the application.

But Iziyon countered that the tribunal lack the necessary legal powers to grant the application as it was prohibited by the provision of paragraph 18(4) of the first schedule of the Electoral Act, adding that “even if the tribunal have such powers or discretion, it cannot grant this application since no material has been placed to justify of that discretion’.

Iziyon  told the  tribunal that Emerhor, through his lawyer was abusing the court process, as seven fresh application are pending before the  court which has not been argued as such wasting the time of the court.

“We are been moved into a macabre dance  in this court, as no form ET008 is before the court, asking that  the court should   dismiss the application and   treat it  as abandoned as there was no  application for extension of time’

In his ruling , Justice Gumi allowed the Emerhor  to proceed with the re-hearing trail as he adjourned